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Thursday, 22 July 2010

Andris Piebalgs commended Finland for active EU development policy

The Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen met in Helsinki on Friday (9th July). Piebalgs and Väyrynen discussed Minister Väyrynen's proposal for European Union global strategy, strategic partners, and productivity of development cooperation. In the EU development ministers meeting in June, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen proposed a comprehensive EU global strategy as a framework for EU external action to promote environmentally, financially and socially sustainable development in the world. According to Väyrynen, a global strategy would coherently implement development policy by linking it with trade policy, environmental and climate policies, financial system development, and foreign and defence policies. Commissioner Andris Piebalgs agreed on the need for a single, more comprehensive and more extensive strategy to replace several separate strategies. He believes the UN should have a central role and the EU should be stronger. ”The UN is a system we already have.”
Piebalgs commended Finland for active EU development policy, and sets Finland as an example for new member states. Piebalgs – former Commissioner for Energy – and Minister Väyrynen also discussed energy issues; how the use or renewable energy could be increased through development policy measures, for example. They both agreed that locally produced energy, such as wood or solar energy, promotes sustainable development. Piebalgs stressed that even though energy is not among the UN Millennium Development Goals, it is one of the key issues in reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development. Väyrynen pointed out that Finland is active in the energy sector and helping out in many countries in cooperation with others. In addition, Finland has initiated an energy and environmental partnership in Central America and plans to apply the model also in the southern Africa, the Mekong river region and the Andes.

Source: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland